To prepare for the FCS Playoffs semifinal matchup between North Dakota State and Sam Houston State, HERO Sports got some insight from John Neis over at BISONATION.
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Make sure you check out BISONATION and give them a follow on Twitter at @BISONATION. Thanks to John for taking some time to give us his insight.
Now, onto the questions:
NDSU has earned trips to an astonishing seven straight FCS Semifinals. What’s been most impressive to you about their consistency?
When you have one of the top two seeds you kind of expect to make it to the semi’s (mind you they were a 3 seed one of those years). To me, winning seven straight conference championships in the toughest FCS conference is impressive. The level of play in the MVFC keeps rising but NDSU keeps finding a way to win the conference title.
Jeremiah Briscoe will get a lot of attention this week because he’s the top FCS QB draft prospect this season. Why do people need to pay attention to Easton Stick, too?
I’d debate whether Briscoe is the top FCS QB prospect but that’s not your question. Any QB for the 1 or 2 seed needs some recognition. What’s kind of ridiculous is Stick has been able to do what he has done and has played for three different offensive coordinators in his tenure at NDSU.
Sure the system hasn’t changed much but playing for a new coordinator takes some adjusting and Stick has done it flawlessly. This is a young man who turned down a B1G offer to come to NDSU knowing he would redshirt and sit behind Carson Wentz. He is the ultimate team QB and the guys rally behind him.
NDSU has done a god job spreading the ball around and getting a lot of people involved. Do you see Sam Houston’s defense slowing down the Bison offense?
SHSU hasn’t stopped anyone with a pulse in years and that won’t magically start this Friday. Last time they played in the Semi’s NDSU ran a formation three or four plays in a row where the wide receiver covered the tight end making him ineligible, yet the Bearkats still put a safety to cover the tight end.
That left mismatches on the other side of the field and NDSU took advantage. NDSU’s Rams (nickname for their o-line and actually named after my dad Sam Neis “Sam’s Rams”) will lean on SHSU and it will show early.
What’s the key for NDSU’s defense to shut down the SHSU offense?
Flying sideline to sideline and knowing their roll which they have done successfully all year. This may be the fastest defense NDSU has had during this run and that helps when playing an explosive offense like SHSU. Bison won’t have a problem controlling the line of scrimmage but they will need to contain Briscoe to the pocket.
What’s your prediction for the game?